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Official Press release:

Hurricanes Name Kirk Muller as Head Coach

Played more than 1,300 NHL games; was serving as head coach of Milwaukee Admirals

Monday, 11.28.2011 / 12:01 PM / News

By Terrell WilliamsRALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that Kirk Muller has been named the team’s new head coach. Muller had been serving as the head coach of the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League. He will be introduced at a news conference later this afternoon.

“Kirk is a proven leader and motivator, and he has strong communication skills,” said Rutherford. “He was a captain and a Stanley Cup winner as a player, and did excellent work as a coach with the Canadiens and the Admirals. We feel confident that he is the right man to lead our team now and in the future.”

Muller, 45, becomes the 12th person to serve as head coach for the franchise, and the third to be head coach since the team relocated to North Carolina in 1997. The Kingston, Ont., native had a record of 10-6-0 with Milwaukee this season, after taking the job as head coach for the Nashville Predators’ top affiliate in July 2011. Prior to joining the Admirals, Muller spent five seasons as an assistant coach with the Montreal Canadiens, helping the Habs reach the playoffs four consecutive seasons. He also has experience as a head coach with the Queen’s University Golden Gaels, and an assistant for Team Canada in the 2005 Lotto Cup and the 2006 Under-18 World Championship. Current Hurricanes alternate captain Brandon Sutter was a member of that 2006 Under-18 World Championship team.

As a player, Muller totaled 357 goals and 602 assists (959 points) in 1,349 career NHL games over 19 seasons with the New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers and Dallas Stars. He skated in 127 career Stanley Cup playoff games, totaling 69 points (33g, 36a), including the Stanley Cup-clinching goal for the Canadiens in the 1993 Stanley Cup Final. He also reached the Final with Dallas in 2000, when the Stars fell to New Jersey.

A six-time NHL All-Star, Muller posted 30-or-more goals five times in his career, 20-or-more goals nine times, and had seven 70-point seasons. He established career highs with New Jersey in 1987-88 and Montreal in 1992-93, totaling 37 goals, 57 assists and 94 points in each of those seasons. Muller served as captain for both the Devils (1989-91) and the Canadiens (1994-95).

Prior to turning professional, Muller played junior hockey in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for Kingston and Guelph, and represented Canada at the 1984 Olympic Games. He made his NHL debut for New Jersey straight out of junior hockey in 1984, after the Devils selected him second overall in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft, behind only Mario Lemieux. In addition to the 1984 Olympics, Muller also represented Canada at four World Championships (1985, 1986, 1987, 1989) and at the 1984 World Junior Championship.

Kirk Muller's Offical Canes Bio

kirkmullerheadshot.jpg

**News conference this evening at 5pm**

click here for a live stream on the main ch.com page

DarrenDreger Darren Dreger Carolina wisely hires Kirk Muller who would have been snapped up in the offseason.

TSNBobMcKenzie Bob McKenzie CAR not practising today. Kirk Muller will be introduced at a news conference this evening.

Great read originally posted by jfive:

http://www.montrealg...html?id=5589763

MONTREAL - The American Hockey League is a whole new world to Kirk Muller.

As a player, Muller never spent a single day in the minors, going directly to the New Jersey Devils as an 18-year-old after being the second overall pick at the 1984 National League entry draft behind Mario Lemieux, who went to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

But after a 19-year playing career – including a Stanley Cup with Montreal in 1993 – and five years as an assistant coach with the Canadiens, Muller is now a minor-league rookie as head coach of the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals.

“Mike Keane (a former Canadiens teammate) came to see my opener the other night,” Muller told me over the phone this week with a laugh. “He’s always teased me about being a ‘silver spoon’. He was howling the other night, saying: ‘Finally caught you!’ ”

After working in Montreal as an assistant under Guy Carbonneau, Bob Gainey and Jacques Martin, Muller decided it was time to take the next step in his coaching career. Since he doesn’t speak French, there is almost no chance Muller would ever become head coach of the Canadiens, but he did interview for NHL head-coaching jobs in Ottawa, Dallas, Minnesota and New Jersey. When no offers came, Muller decided to look at the AHL.

Was he disappointed?

“Honestly, I was totally fine,” Muller said. “I talked to a lot of coaches like Dave Tippett (in Phoenix) and they said, ‘Kirk, you really need the experience of getting some of these job interviews.’

“At the end of the day, they said it’s probably important that you run your own team and get some experience. And that’s probably what I was expecting. I think long-term this is the best thing for me. So, totally honestly, I wasn’t disappointed at all. I think this is a really good step for me.”

And Muller is off to an impressive start in his new job. Heading into Friday night’s game in B.C. against the Abbotsford Heat, the Admirals had a perfect 3-0 record, while outscoring the opposition 11-5.

One of the selling points for Muller in Milwaukee was the fact the Nashville Predators, the parent NHL team, allowed him to bring in his own system.

“I had a great conversation with (Predators coach) Barry Trotz and (assistant GM) Paul Fenton and (GM) David Poile, and they said: ‘We certainly welcome you to bring in your own system that you want,’” Muller said. “That was one of the attractions about coming here … the opportunity to kind of put my own stamp on a team and my own identity. So they’ve kinda given me the green light to have my own team here.”

And what kind of team will that be?

“Very aggressive,” Muller said without hesitating.

“You have to be good defensively, you have to be good without the puck,” he added. “But since the lockout and no red line, you’ve got to be able to score and you’ve got to be able to score at the right time. So I really stress for the guys to be a very aggressive forechecking team, and I tell my forwards that if they want to play here they gotta work … they’ve got to be workers and do a lot of skating and tracking down and heavy forecheck.”

Muller laughed when I suggested he wants his guys to play just like he did, earning the well-deserved nickname “Kirk is Work”.

“Everyone has to know how to play without the puck, but when it’s a turnover I want it to be a real quick transitional team that’s aggressive,” he said. “And I challenge the guys that even if you feel like you’re a defensive defenceman or a defensive forward, I think everyone’s capable of offence and trying to get everybody involved.

“I just feel it comes down to one word at this level, and it’s accountability. If you can get a bunch of guys that are willing to play for each other and understand that there’s no free passes and you’ve got to earn your ice and be accountable, then I’m going to be totally fair to everybody. If you work and you play hard, then you’ll play. I said: ‘It’s a two-way door. I’m here to communicate with you guys, but don’t come see me if you’re not ready for the answer. But you’ll always know where you stand, and I’ll be honest with you.’ I think it’s all about communicating with your guys.”

Muller said he learned lessons from both Martin and Carbonneau while working behind the Canadiens’ bench.

“Jacques was really good for me for showing me about preparation,” he said. “The way he was organized was really great for me to see what it takes, day in and day out, to be a head coach. That was great.

“I think Carbo was a really extremely smart hockey guy. I loved his spontaneity on the bench. I played with Carbo for a while, so we kind of see the game very similar in that aspect. I don’t think people realize a guy like Carbo, who had very little coaching experience, how well he did to go into the toughest market to coach and lead the team to win the East (in 2007-08).

“At the end of the day, both of them stressed defence, and I don’t think I’m any different. I just believe in a very hard-working aggressive team up front, that’s all.”

When I asked Muller if life was a lot different in Milwaukee than Montreal, he laughed loudly, saying: “Yeah ... but the weather is the same.”

But he’s definitely not complaining.

“My dream used to be to play in the NHL, and now it’s to coach in the NHL,” he said. “That’s why I came down here. It’s a great league, it’s a league for players to groom themselves and coaches to get their experience as well.

“I’m just going to do my thing here and work hard and earn my stripes and see where the road leads from there.”

Somehow, I think that road will eventually lead to an NHL bench somewhere.

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Official Press release to follow...

DarrenDreger Darren Dreger Carolina wisely hires Kirk Muller who would have been snapped up in the offseason.

Great read posted by jfive:

http://www.montrealg...html?id=5589763

Funny one from Puck Daddy:

wyshynski Greg Wyshynski Great to see McPhee and Rutherford taking advantage of the free shipping on Cyber Monday.

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And what kind of team will that be?

“Very aggressive,” Muller said without hesitating.

YES! I like him already.

Concur. One of the many things that grew tiresome was seeing the way our guys would turtle on the penalty kill. All four packed in tight, standing around, and waiting to be dictated to by the man advantage. Doesn't sound like Coach Muller's style. Work, accountability, aggression...sounds like exactly what we need.

Hopefully next we'll see some real, meaningful playing time for guys like Dalpe and Boychuk. Using them to test out the seats on the bus between here and Charlotte has accomplished nothing.

I think the playoffs this year are a pipe dream, but there's a lot more talent than has been evident thus far. A good run would go a long way to creating some excitement heading into the offseason and beginning of next year.

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This may end up being a really good pick-up!

Now, I really respect the hell outta Mo for all that he's done for this organization...but it's been pretty clear that the team needs new insight...

Godspeed Mo...and thank you for your service to the Caniac nation!

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This may end up being a really good pick-up!

Now, I really respect the hell outta Mo for all that he's done for this organization...but it's been pretty clear that the team needs new insight...

Godspeed Mo...and thank you for your service to the Caniac nation!

Have to agree with this statement.

Now for all out there We asked for it and we got it..now get your butts in the seats and support this change

LETS GO CANES!!!

See you at the RBC center on Saturday :)

Edited by Pkling40

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This was long overdue.

Rutherford is a sharp guy, but hiring Mo again and following Mo's advice to load up on former Leaf's really cast a shadow on Rutherfords managment imo. We need another find like Justin Williams or Jussi as rare as they are.

I hope the coaching change from a coach that really only knew the clutch and grab will illicit a change to more speed that our now young organization reflects. Pull Drayson Bowman up and lets see some afterburners. Boychuk had more hype but frankly Bowman impresses me more. I'd like to see Dalpe and Bowman on the big team developing.

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This was long overdue.

Rutherford is a sharp guy, but hiring Mo again and following Mo's advice to load up on former Leaf's really cast a shadow on Rutherfords managment imo. We need another find like Justin Williams or Jussi as rare as they are.

I hope the coaching change from a coach that really only knew the clutch and grab will illicit a change to more speed that our now young organization reflects. Pull Drayson Bowman up and lets see some afterburners. Boychuk had more hype but frankly Bowman impresses me more. I'd like to see Dalpe and Bowman on the big team developing.

Yeah, we've been pretty hard on JR. But I have to say that so far this coaching change looks promising. It has to play out over the next few years. A big worry was just more of the same from internal organization. He didn't do that! He went outside!

Next step: throw out the detritus of the Toronto connection. But let's be realistic. We don't have Leonsis' pockets for this team. It is going to take a series of steps. This is step one. I have hope for JR.

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The Montreal fans around the web are saying how lucky we are to have Muller. Word is he is great with the media but is ALL business behind closed doors. Most agree he has great communication skills and is a real motivator behind the bench. They say he preaches accountability.

Looking at the AHL stats for Milwaulke, a couple were interesting: Third fewest goals scored, but also the team with the lowest goals allowed.

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Muller may be a done deal, and this looks pretty darn good...

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/blog/puck_daddy/post/Maurice-fired-Kirk-Muller-hired-it-8217-s-OK-?urn=nhl-wp18424

And for those who know my number one complaint, the comments about aggression bring tears to my tired eyes.

Edited by hag65

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“....since the lockout and no red line, you’ve got to be able to score and you’ve got to be able to score at the right time. So I really stress for the guys to be a very aggressive forechecking team, and I tell my forwards that if they want to play here they gotta work … they’ve got to be workers and do a lot of skating and tracking down and heavy forecheck.” Muller.

Sounds like Lavi round II.

We have sacrificed speed (Cole/Corvo) for not so much speed (Poni/Kabs). Hopefully, under his aggressive system speed will be re-emphazised and guys will really start skating. And yes, guys like Dalpe and Boychuk really get a shot. And any new players brought in have at least decent speed. I doubt many fans in this town want a neutral zone trap and grind. So this seems good.

Anyway, an outsider that will shape things up and emphasize aggressiveness. Yup, Lavi round II. Round I had a few nice moments.

Edited by remkin

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Muller may be a done deal, and this looks pretty darn good...

http://sports.yahoo....urn=nhl-wp18424

And for those who know my number one complaint, the comments about aggression bring tears to my tired eyes.

Interesting note from Wyshinski in that blog:

Where as a coach like Maurice is rigid, Muller makes adjustments. That could be key with a versatile roster in Carolina.

Chip posted some Muller articles:

http://www.cbc.ca/sp...-canadiens.html

http://t.co/Te2BQw9f

and from Michael Smith:

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reading the Puck Daddy story hag65 posted this jumped out at me.

"You have to be good defensively, you have to be good without the puck," he added. "But since the lockout and no red line, you've got to be able to score and you've got to be able to score at the right time.

and this

"Everyone has to know how to play without the puck, but when it's a turnover I want it to be a real quick transitional team that's aggressive," he said. "And I challenge the guys that even if you feel like you're a defensive defenceman or a defensive forward, I think everyone's capable of offence and trying to get everybody involved.

He sounds like a no nonsense kind of a coach who understands the post lockout NHL. IMO our players helped force this change and it will be up to them to respond or get gone.

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Sounds like he's going to roll 4 lines too. If you don't have the top line, get in their face and wear them down with 4 lines. That will be a good approach with a team full of 3rd liners.

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We need to have an good showing tomorrow to welcome him!

With someone coming in with no knowledge of the current players, everyone will have to earn their spots based on their specific talents.

Edited by hopper915

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Thanks for the backgrounder, TSA.

“You have to be good defensively, you have to be good without the puck,” he added. “But since the lockout and no red line, you’ve got to be able to score and you’ve got to be able to score at the right time. So I really stress for the guys to be a very aggressive forechecking team, and I tell my forwards that if they want to play here they gotta work … they’ve got to be workers and do a lot of skating and tracking down and heavy forecheck.”

The above is EXACTLY what Paul Maurice has never understood. Hockey is about puck pressure and puck possession. If you don't have the first, you won't have the second, simple as that. Skinner gets this, Sutter does, Jokinen and Ruttu do also. LaRose definitely does. Let's hope Staal will embrace it.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: It's hard to win hockey games from your own end of the rink, and the more willing we are to keep the opposition pinned in their end, the more games we'll win. And that means forechecking. Hockey really is that simple.

Edited by top-shelf-1

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Muller is going to love Sutter and Dwyer. Sounds like they'll fit right in to his system. I can't wait to see his lasting effect on the team. I wonder how long it will take to adapt.

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Spector's Hockey

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With their season sinking fast, the Hurricanes had to do something, and a coaching change was the most obvious. Muller garnered a good reputation as an assistant coach with the Habs, especially with his work with young players, but was passed over this summer for coaching jobs as the perception around the league was he needed experience as a head coach. It certainly didn’t take long for that perception to change, as far as the Hurricanes management is concerned. It’ll be interesting to see how well Muller does, and how the Hurricanes adjust to their new coach.

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yes yes yes yes. and yes. I second everything that everyone has said thus far. This is going to be GREAT for the years to come. Muller seems to be exactly what this team and organization needs. Maybe in 5 years or so we'll see a C on Sutter's sweater.

New era of Canes to come, excitement abounds!

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FINALLY! It will feel great to again pull FOR the Canes instead of AGAINST Mo!!!

Does this mean someone will actually OCCUPY the "dark area?" What a novel idea! Somehow I don't think Coach Kirk will settle for 99% of shots-on-goal from 30 ft out , and the whole 'low percentage shots=high percentage goals" philosophy.

Let the good times roll....again.

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From the Twitter Universe.

ice_chip - Chip Alexander, Muller's contract will pay him for the remainder of this season and three more seasons, Rutherford said.

Hurricanes will retain the assistant coaches, Rutherford said, Maurice will leave the organization, so he is not being reassigned.

DarrenDreger - Darren Dreger, Maurice knew it was coming as I'm sure Bruce Boudreau did as well. Muller + Hunter will demand accountabilty the former coaches didn't get.

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